After claiming last month that its all-electric Very Light Car could achieve the equivalent of 310 mpg, Automotive X Prize contestant Edison2 says EPA has double-checked its numbers and the results have increased. The official EPA accredited mileage for the electric VLC is 350 MPGe in combined city and highway driving.
MPGe measures the energy usage of cars based on the equivalent energy they would have used if they ran on gasoline. The EPA certified the electric Edison2 went 347 miles on the equivalent of a gallon of gas in city driving, and 352 miles on the highway. This would give the electric VLC a range of 114 miles on its 10.5 kWh battery. (By comparison, the Nissan Leaf, with an EPA-certified range of 75 miles, requires a 24 kWh battery, which takes six hours to recharge on a 240-volt charger, or about 16 hours on a standard household circuit.)
Edison2’s CEO Oliver Kuttner says the electric VLC will recharge in just six hours on a standard 110-volt household outlet. With a dedicated 240-volt outlet this could be reduced to less than three hours.
Even using the EPA’s new correction factors for cold weather, air conditioning use, and higher highway speeds, the VLC achieved 245 MPGe in mixed driving. Those factors are designed for gasoline-powered cars, however, and likely have greater adverse effects on electrics.
Edison2 is working to demonstrate the point that weight savings (and aerodynamic improvements) have a compound effect on electric cars, because they allow the use of smaller, lighter batteries. All in, the four-passenger electric VLC weighs 1,140 pounds, or about two-thirds as much as a Smart car.
The next step for Edison2 is to begin crash testing to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards in order to verify their claims that the car can meet federal safety requirements.
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